Hospital beds and A&E departments face axe from NHS

'Desperate measures' planned to tackle worst financial crisis in NHS history

Plans are being drawn up to cut hospital beds and close Accident & Emergency departments within the NHS, a new poll shows.

The Sunday Telegraph reports today that almost half of NHS authorities in the UK are looking to undertake severe measures being planned to tackle the greatest financial crisis in the history of the NHS.

In a strongly worded letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond, MPs are accusing the Government of wrongly claiming it is going to raise spending on the NHS in England by £10bn over the next five years.

Five MPs led by Conservative Dr Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the Commons Health Select Committee, have warned Mr Hammond the figure was misleading the public about the state of the NHS' finances at a time when funding pressures were threatening to become "overwhelming".

"The continued use of the figure of £10bn for the additional health spending up to 2020-21 is not only incorrect but risks giving a false impression that the NHS is awash with cash," Dr Wollaston wrote.

Findings from a poll by the Health Service Journal show that one in three clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) intend to close or downgrade A&E departments, while one in five expect to close consultant-led maternity services.

One quarter anticipate job cuts in hospitals and almost as many intend to close inpatient paediatric department, the research found.

Dr. Chris Moulton, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and a senior A&E consultant said: "They are desperate to save money, but these are truly desperate measures."

During the campaign for Brexit, the Leave side promised to give the NHS £350m extra per week if the country withdrew from the EU - a promise which they promptly rowed back on.